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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  September 12, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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four positions in six months on one subject. last night's shameless statement wasn't just out of line. it proved mitt romney is out of his depth. and as we end our broadcast, we remember those who lost their lives and extend our condo lens to their families. "hardball" is next. romney bumbles libya. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this horrible story of the courageous american ambassador killed in libya. chris stevens sounds like a great guy. peace corps volunteer who in his more recent career acted heroically in the overthrow of
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gadhafi. has been overshadowed by the desperate reach by mitt romney to secure political advantage. hours before the killing romney issued a statement accusing president obama of having sympathized with those making the attacks on the u.s. consulate. he called it disgraceful. went further, obama sympathizes with attackers in egypt, the rnc chair tweeted, referring to a similar assault on the u.s. embassy in cairo. the accusation that the president sympathized with muslim militants echoes past attacks from the right. what's new in romney's statement in libya is its wildness. the president never said he sympathized with the crowds in libya and egypt protesting an anti-muslim film, apparently made in los angeles. "time" magazine's mark hallperin and howard fineman. take a look at the timeline of events over a very significant 24-hour period. it started yesterday morning about 6 a.m. eastern time. noon in cairo.
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that's when the american embassy put out a statement saying it condemns the continuing effort by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of muslim, in reference in part to the movie. throughout the day in cairo protesters marched on the embassy protesting the film. at noon the embassy wall was breached and the american flag was ripped down around 10:00 at night. secretary clinton released a statement condemning the violence. at 10:09 the romney camp sent a statement to the press saying it's disgraceful the obama's administration first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions but sympathize with those who waged the attacks. around that time the white house disavowed the embassy statement from earlier that day. a few hours later tweeted, obama sympathizes with attackers in egypt. six hours later the ap broke the news that the ambassador in libya was killed when protesters
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stormed that embassy in benghazi. this one of those strange, tragic, comic affairs. comic only in the political intrigue and perhaps stupidity here of mitt romney. >> yeah, well, this is what happens politically when you're a candidate without the facts and with few friends. he's maybe tied to the pole but he doesn't have close friends in the politics business. he got the fact wrong. it's a classic case of jumping out ahead of a fast-moving story, chasing what you think is some kind of immediate political gain. he's going after evangelicals and some other people, including some more -- some of the jewish voters who may be concerned in this sort of zianic phobic -- >> explain how he got the key fact wrong. >> he got the key fact wrong in that the cairo embassy was not responding to the people scaling
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the walls. the original statements by cairo embassy were long before there was any action at the embassy. >> right. >> it was a perfectly fair and judicious statement. >> to simply stay to stop putting out the movies. >> then what happens is mitt romney gets caught up after the libyan assault, which may have been planned, may have involved old pro-ga dallas daffy forces or al qaeda, whatever, and mitt romney gets swept along and gets discredited for having jumped in too fast and he doesn't have the friends in politics to defend him. very, very few defenders, other than the head of the rnc and ultraconservative republicans. john mccain's not defending him in any real way. most of the republican establishment is not defending him. of course, the democrats are having their will with him, including the president. >> mark, i know you've been talking about this on various platforms. i always see you as a fair-minded guy on these trick request political questions. this incident is a strange conjunction, of a tragedy where
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apparently a very heroic young ambassador was killed in the line of duty, who has served this country, i think, wonderfully from the time he was in the peace corps all through his career in the foreign service. there he is, chris stevens. getting killed basically in the line of duty, trying to defend people in his consulate in benghazi. on top of that, and distracting sadly from it, is this side show. explain how you put it together, all that happened today. >> first of all, i want to say to the families of the four americans who died, this is a very tough day because we need our diplomats out there to be safe, being able to perform their job. the arab spring reaction on the u.s. side is going to involve the u.s. military in some cases but very few, mostly diplomatic efforts. it's a very tough day for america. in that context, i think governor romney has every right and obligation to criticize the current administration's foreign policy. but to go off without knowing all the facts and to go off at a time when -- if he had something helpful to say, he could have said it privately to the white house.
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i think it's a mistake politically. in the long run i think it's a mistake politically. it does cut him off from most republicans on capitol hill, as howard said, who have not been outspoken. i think it's the wrong thing to do. he's right to criticize, right to make points. if he has good points, let them make it in a day or two when it's not in the midst of a crisis, when the country should be coming together and figuring out how to address a still volatile situation. >> i think -- >> the only problem is -- mark says it absolutely right. mitt romney by stepping in as early as he did, without the facts and prematurely, allowed events to control him. because it became within hours a much more serious and deadly and somber occasion than mitt romney realized at the time when he was trying to make cheap political points. >> yeah. >> that's what happened. >> those are three things people have to understand of what happened here. first of all, the embassy in cairo without any approval from washington said, cool this crazy film making around the world, this is taunting the islamic
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world. six hours later the embassy was overrun and then the ambassador was killed in benghazi, a totally different place. today even before president obama spoke, governor romney doubled down on his statement from last night. let's listen. >> i also believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in egypt instead of condemning their actions. it's never too early for the united states government to condemn attacks on americans and to defend our values. i think it's -- it's a terrible course for america to stand in apology for our values. that instead when our grounds are being attacked and being breached, that the first response to the united states must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation. >> you know, it's hard to be -- even attempt to get it straight
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about that. that was the most ternl statement i've heard in a long time. he's accusing the president of something he never did. he never sympathized with the mobs. he never sympathized with someone taking the lives of americans or serving america. regular career service people over in cairo without any checking with any washington, put out a statement, just cool it over there so they should show they're not part of this, you know, absolutely outrageous disrespect. >> i think -- i don't know, mark -- what mark thinks but that was a little painful, infuriating, both painful and infuriating to watch. i'm going to give mitt romney enough credit for knowing the president in this context didn't apologize for anything. you know, did none of the things he -- >> never sympathized. >> he never sympathized or apologized. mitt romney is purr you suing a political strategy that is so nakedly and obviously political. as mark says, maybe it will help him at some point.
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this is a guy who doesn't -- mitt romney is a guy with not a lot of teflon on him. people don't know who he is still. he doesn't -- to me he doesn't help himself politically with that kind of statement in terms of who he is as a potential leader. >> you never know. i don't want to carry this too far today because it's so bad on him, on romney, but you never know how much he's playing into this notion that somehow obama is one of them, sympathizes with them, sort of being with them. after romney spoke at a preplanned interview with cbs news for "60 minutes" coming up, romney respo the president criticized governor romney. >> governor romney has a tendency to shoot first, aim later. as president i've learned you can't do that. it's important for you to know the statements you make are backed up by the facts and that you've thought through the ramifications before you make them. >> do you think it was irresponsible? >> i'll let the american people
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judge that. >> let me go to you, because you cover the campaign, the tick tock as well as big changing sweeps and game changing. how does this kind of thing happen, that somebody in the romney camp gets word of what's happening in cairo, what's going on as well in benghazi. they see this statement come out. they see a report on cbs that seems to put together this statement with the attack on the embassy. in fact, the overrunning of the embassy. in that instance, the killing of the ambassador. they put it all together, whatever. how does that work, that they come out with a statement so strong and sure so early in this news development? >> well, i'll tell you what, i'm quite certain at least partially animated their actions, chris, which is mitt romney got into this race in part because he thought the president was doing a bad job on the economy but also go read his book which describes what got him in the race. he feels this incident reveals things about the president's leadership that he feels very strongly about. he thinks the president has been too apologetic on behalf of the united states.
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although for people have pointed out the president in this case and others was not apologizing for the united states. and he thinks the president is not managing foreign policy well. there is one issue -- at least one factual issue i'm sure caught their eye which was release of the statement by the embassy in cairo. there's a question about how that statement got put out. it's not the best worded statement as possible. in that part of the world, there is a management question, from the state department, that needs to be looked into. how do statements get released on twitter and elsewhere that could cause a political problem? how it went from mitt romney to his staff deciding to do it aggressively, i don't know yet. but i will say that there is -- as i said at the beginning, there is legitimate things to look at here. but for mitt romney in the heat of it without the facts to start to raise issues like this, again, i think is misguided. and i think you see in this campaign on both sides, even when things are done in haste, an unwillingness to back down. again, i'll say, on both sides, because there's -- there's a
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kind of macho and testosterone-infused impulse to, once you take that position in this race, to not back down one iota. >> a couple points. first, the president never sympathized or issued a statement on this. there is no such history of anything having been done. someone in the embassy in cairo said something like, cool your jets in california, stop putting out these movies. and he used the word disgraceful about something the president didn't even do. >> well, i'm going to wait for mark and john heilemann's book to get the tick tock of the -- >> they have time to get that eventually. >> they will. and i'll read it. but my sense is that the foreign policy people around mitt romney, closest to him, who travel with him, who talk to him all the time, are not really foreign policy people, per se. they're stewart steven, his media adviser, people like dan senior, now working with paul ryan.
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they sort of share this clash of civilization view about world affairs. and they're also trying to paint the president as the other, as the guy who has some kind of apologist agenda out there. i don't see mitt romney having studied his career as that much of a foreign policy guy. he never has been. he was plugged into the neocon view in about 2007 and that was the beginning of his foreign policy education and that's still where he is. >> yeah. this very much follows a lot of what republicans have been saying about obama, not being one of us, the way they've successfully gotten -- and i said this yesterday, 37% of republicans right now in ohio, a key state in this collection coming up in november, believe the president was not born in this country. this birtherism is not a theory, it's out in the electrorate. with the events and libya and egypt overnight, foreign
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policy is emerging as a crucible in the campaign. that may not be good for romney who wanted to run on one thing, jobs. what you thought mitt romney said about libya was over the top, wait until you hear about the misinformation and nastiness from guess who, the lady from alaska, sarah palin. if tim russert he might say, ohio, ohio, ohio. the presidential election may be decided by the buckeye state. sherrod brown joins us. this is "hardball," a place for politics. hey. hey eddie. i brought your stuff. you don't have to do this. yes i do.
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i want you to keep this. it'd be weird. take care. you too. [ sighs ] so how did it go? he's upset. [ male announcer ] spend less time at gas stations with best in class fuel economy. it's our most innovative altima ever. ♪ today a number of conservatives criticized romney for his ill-timed statement. peggy noonan on fox. >> i don't feel that mr. romney has been doing himself any favors. say, in the past few hours, perhaps since last night.
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sometimes when really bad things happen, when hot things happen, cool words or no words is the way to go. >> and according to buzz feed a number of republican foreign policy experts, quote, senior republican foreign policy hand called it an utter disaster and said it was romney's lehman moment, referring to senator mccain's tone deaf response to the financial crisis in 2008. he said, they were trying to score a cheap news cycle hit based on the embassy statement and now it's just completely blown up. an aide said, it's bad, just on a factual level level that the statement was not a response but preside or one ko make the case just calling it disgrace. in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs.
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my opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy.
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but from you all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that costs america so dearly. >> blustering and blundering, what a prediction of today's events. back with the president and as he accepted has party's nomination last week, he seemed to be predicting this week. never more true than today and secretary of state clinton denouncing the attacks on libya exemplified the administration's foreign policy strengths. >> this is an attack that should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world. this was an attack by a small and savage group. not the people or government of libya. but let me be clear, there is no justification for this. none. violence like this is no way to honor religion or faith.
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>> foreign policy has been an after-thought in this election so far but in one day it's emerged as a potentially major issue that's likely to help the president. eugene robinson, columnist for washington post and david corn. this story looks like it will get top placement have where in the papers. this is a big one. fumbling, bumbling by romney. >> the big headline is, obviously, what happened, the atrocity in libya, the riots in cairo, who was behind the thing in libya. the side bar, right next to it, right there below, is about romney. and this sort of shoot from the lip approach. and the question of character and judgment it raises, frankly. domestic policy you talk about stuff you don't know anything about. in foreign policy you start at war, if you do that.
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it's very serious. so, judgment question. and then the character question. i mean, in a moment like that when you don't know what's going on but you know america is under attack, we are all supposed to be americans -- >> this is something -- newt gingrich would jump and say, i can blame the cia for being underfunded. immediately the brain goes to, how can i attack the gut? >> this is a have you no decency moment? i think mitt romney went out there -- we talk about the campaign, how can people let him do that. these words passed through his lips not once, but twice. he's not a dumb guy. he had to know what he was doing. as he noted earlier, he had to know the stuff wasn't true, yet he said it anyway. >> that's the new parlance, isn't it? the new rules of engagement, even if you know something about medicare isn't true or work and welfare isn't true, he keeps saying it. >> but there's something particularly foul. we have the death of this heroic
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ambassador that mitt romney is now trying to exploit in some ways. and he's, accusing the president, who he's accused of being an apologist, like killing abdomin osama bin laden wasn't good enough, this plays to the narrative of the crazy right. you think, wait a moment, the votes he needs now, they don't think obama who got bin laden is an appeaser -- >> that's just a word -- they used the word sympathizer. he's not appeasing the enemy, he's with them. >> now they're accusing him of being a traitor. he can't get out of this mode -- >> i raised this fight with the chairman of the rnc a couple weeks ago. i believe he's like the rest of them, they just casually now accuse the president of being someone or the other. he wasn't -- what's that about -- >> it's about what you said. >> he's on the other side.
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>> you know, it's not hard to read into that accusation of treason. there's more than a whiff of desperation, to tell you the truth. if it's not out of desperation, which is at least a logical motive, it's really dangerous. he must have known what he was doing and he must have made some sort of calculation to do it. if he didn't and just blundered out there with this, that worries me as -- about -- >> i say, look, we've still got two wars going on with guys and women facing death over there every day. we've been behind the scenes in libya, behind the scenes in sir, yeah we may get involved in a war with iran. nobody wants a new war right now. but also there's a sense, although they don't want a new war, they don't want to think we're not fighting as best we can the wars we're involved in, especially terrorism. now you put out the word, the president is sympathizing. i've never seen this.
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sympathize with the viet cong? no one ever did that. >> they call him weak and amateur and america is under threat because of him and now accusing of him being with people that are killing americans. it's a new low. who thought they could go lower? this is showing this is one in a series of blunders. he made the mistakes at olympics, the chinese dissident, he made a mistake by not mentioning the troops. >> i think there's a little more form to it than just stupidity, don't you think? i get the neocon thing of we're against the world, israel is against the world, and everything has to be an east/west fight to the daet aead we want to stir it up. >> there's a smart neocon argument and what romney is doing. it's not the same. >> he's not on the script. david sanger wrote about the influences on the foreign policy choices. what has struck his advisers and outside republicans is that in his effort to secure the nomination, mr. romney's public
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comments have usually rejected mainstream republican orthodox. they sound like the talking points of the neoconservatives, or the bolton facts. this is an interesting thing. hard liners who are always hard liners, let's push china around, go to war with iran. there he is, what do we do with libya? what do we do with the horrible situation of mob attacks? do we attack the mob? do we start gutting them down? >> it's empty rhetoric. he gives talks about obama not being tough. we need to be tough. but he doesn't say what that entails, as if getting gadhafi out of power was not being tough. if getting rid of 0, 30 al qaeda leaders is not being tough. on it's just -- i think it's just buzz words to get people who are predisposed to think obama, because he's a democrat, he's something else, is not on the side of america. >> let's talk foreign policy.
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you pick a president, you pick a number of people to put a number of hats on. you're head of the government be head of the administration, executive branch, leader of your political party. you're also chief of staff of the government. basically, chief of state. >> right, right. >> you are the people. you're also the head of state. you're the person who represents the american people. which hats is romney ready for? >> maybe none. >> i'm not sure you could argue he's ready to be commander in chief of the world. he doesn't seem to have the propensity to understand what these words mean when he speaks them. >> he hasn't given us evidence he does. >> does he know what it means to get tough with another country, the metaphor, what that means? >> it sounds like campaign rhetoric that's intended to increase his chances of getting elected without regard for the ramifications of what he is saying. >> does he mean fire on the mob? imagine if we start firing on the libyan mob. >> great idea. >> have you heard in the course of this campaign say anything that was interesting about foreign policy? >> i don't think --
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>> that made you think, hey, whether i agree or not, he thinks about this in a certain way, the answer is no. >> i have never thought his interest went beyond, this is fair, his faith, his family, his business. currently his business is running for president. he has no curiosity about the world. he hasn't thought about libya. he hasn't thought about syria in his life. thank you eugene robinson and david corn. up next, how romney's latest hit job falls into line of attack he's been honing for a long time. it isn't pleasant. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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goonies". romney has given voters a way to channel and boo his republican rivals. >> the republicans, they disagree with you. no, no, don't boo, vote. vote. >> don't boo, vote. bill clinton hit the trail for president obama last night and had his own push to get out the vote. >> if you're looking for the future, i think the president's budget plan is better, makes the arithmetic test. i think the health care plan is better. i know the higher education plan better. i know the energy plan is better. and i know the economic plan is better. and i know it will not amount to a hill of beans if you don't register and vote and get your friends to, so do it. >> nothing but a hill of beans. appearances the big dog will be
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making on the president's behalf. new stories of outrage on mitt romney for his recent stories about libya, the president somehow apologizing for america, but really, should we be surprised? >> i start with the fundamental conviction that america is the greatest nation in the history of the world. i will not apologize for america. >> we may have a president who, in looking at our history, looking at those principles is inclined to apologize for america. >> when the opportunity to arose to defend freedom, he's either been late to the game or failed to show up at all. he rushed to apologize for america. >> he traveled around the globe to apologize. >> i will not apologize. >> stop the days of apologizing. >> never again apologize. >> have we ever had a president who was so eager to address the world with an apology. >> apologize. >> apologizing. >> apologizinapologizing. >> apologize.
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>> i won't go around the world apologizing. >> let me mention one more thing and that is i believe in the greatness of the american people. >> well, excuse me. anyway, romney's foreign policy seems to be built on the false notion the president's only goal is to somehow apologize or appease other countries. finally, oprah meets the reagans? close enough. check out the snapshot from a movie in production about a white house butler, suitably titled "the butler," oprah francedly jane fonda and rick, decked out as nancy and ronald reagan. that's the director lee daniels on the far left. up next, to control the senate, a bigger battleground state than ohio? senator sherrod brown joins us next. you know why i sell tools? tools are uncomplicated. nothing complicated about a pair of 10 inch hose clamp pliers. you know what's complicated? shipping. shipping's complicated. not really. with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service shipping's easy. if it fits, it ships anywhere in
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i'm amanda durry with your
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market rap. the dow gained ten points. s&p up by three and nasdaq rose ten point. apple shares closing marginally higher, 1.5%, following the debut of the iphone 5. facebook shares meantime surged nearly 8% with investors welcoming comment from the ceo mark zuckerberg who says he's still optimistic about the company's prospects. investors are head to thursday and whether or not the fed will take new steps to stimulate the economy. that is it from cnbc first in business worldwide. now it's back over to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." cleveland, columbus and cincinnati find themselves at the center of the political universe this fall as ohio will play a role as critical deciding force in the presidential election. it's hard to see how mitt romney can win the election without taking ohio, where he's trailing right now.
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but it's not just hot at the national level. senator brown faces challenge from josh mendechlt l, with millions behind him from karl rove and money backers on the right. this race is being watchs as democrats try to keep hold. senator brown is with us tonight. thank you. i've always looked at you as a perfect fit for ohio up. look like an ohio democrat. i can't believe you're getting challenged but people have to worry about these self-financiers with a lot of big bucks to try to get in at the last minute. >> if any reporter would tell you off the record this wouldn't be the race except for the $17 million. outside groups -- those directed by karl rove have spent $17 million in attack ads. we figure it's wall street, we figure it's oil companies, we figure it's chinese interests, some offshore companies that outsource and sell back into the u.s. we don't know.
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we pretty much guess that because it's $17 million attacking a guy who stood up to them. we expect that but we're fighting back and we're fighting back with a good grassroots effort. >> when you vote on these issues, whether they have to deal with jobs or development or trade or whatever, can you tell when you cast that vote in the senate, when you put your hand up and say aye, do you know at the time the enemies you're making? >> i think so. the issue su don't start calculatin calculating. if you vote this way, they'll spend this many millions of dollars. you need to look at politics through the prism of, i get up every day, how do i fight for jobs in ohio, whose side am i on? when it comes to the auto industry, i know what side i'm on. when it comes to nafta, i know what side i'm on. when you think of jobs and health care, you know you're on the side of the middle class. you think, you don't think about this little bird on your shoulder saying, hey, if you
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vote this way, karl rove's going to come in with the oil industry and come in with wall street banks and spend $10 million. >> let's take a look at the presidential race. matt via the new york times writes about the credit for the economic turn around and other states. republican governors are saying unemployment rates have plummeted because of their pro-business policy. the president is saying that the hard decisions he made in his race are starting to pay off. mitt romney, an optimist who find himself in the uncomfortable position of having to be a total downer, arguing that there really isn't a recovery at all. trust me, you're miserable, could be romney's bumper sticker in ohio. it seems from outside ohio, the auto industry is everything there. not just detroit, ohio. what percentage of your workers, men and women, owe their jobs directly or indirectly to the success of the american auto industry? >> the center for automotive research in detroit said 850,000 jobs in a state of 11 million
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people, ohio, 850,000 jobs are connected directly or indirectly with autos. it's not just the plant that makes the chevy cruise in youngstown or the plant that assembles the jeep wrangler in liberty, in toledo, it's the supply chain, the auto dealers, the machinists and people that fix cars, the people that drive the trucks that move the car parts and the cars around. it's a zillion car parts manufacturers. the chevy cruise, for example, much is made in ohio from the glass -- or from the transmission to the wheels to the steel. one thing after another. it's clear that when we fought for the auto rescue, that that was all about jobs in ohio. that's really governor romney and my opponent's problem is they oppose the auto rescue. they don't quite know how to back off that. >> well, where is -- the guy up against you, mandel, he was against the auto bailout, right? >> he called me un-american for supporting it, so i guess you
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would come to that conclusion, yeah. >> let's take a look at an ad. i think you'll like this ad. they have been trying to portray romney as a businessman who cares more about the bottom line than the average man or woman out there working. this priority usa ad was played in ohio and other swing states earlier this year. let's look at this ad. >> out of the blue one day, we were told to build a 30-foot stage. gathered the guys and we built that 30-foot stage. not knowing what it was for. just days later all three shifts were told to assemble in the warehouse. a group of people walked out on that stage and and told us that the plant is now closed and all of you are fired. i looked both ways. i looked at the crowd. and we all just lost our jobs. we don't have an income. mitt romney made over $100
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million by shutting down our plant and devastated our lives. turns out, that when we built that stage, it was like building my own coffin. and it just made me sick. >> translate that ad to what you know about your state and the job situation in ohio. >> well, i translate it this way. from 2000 to 2010 our country lost a third of manufacturing jobs, 5 million jobs, 60,000 plants in the u.s. shut down. since 2010, once the auto rescue and the recovery act started to take hold, we've gained nationally 500,000 manufacturing jobs. our unemployment rate in ohio went from over 10.5% to under 7.5%. not good enough. far too many people out of work. but people in ohio, we make things. we're the third leading manufacturing state in the country. we're coming back. we're making -- we're big in aerospace. big in solar energy.
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we're obviously big in auto and chemicals and cement and biotech and a lot of medical devices and all of that. there's a real manufacturing strategy now in this country that we're working on together, that's really going to make a big difference in ohio. >> you're my kind of democrat. senator brown, good luck in this race. i don't mind saying it. i haven't said it to many guys, i want to you win. up next, sarah palin's absurd assault on president obama. doesn't get much worse than this. this is "hardball." ♪ ♪ lord, you got no reason ♪ you got no right ♪ ♪ i find myself at the wrong place ♪ [ male announcer ] the ram 1500 express. ♪ it says a lot about you. ♪ in a deep, hemi-rumble sort of way. guts. glory. ram.
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if you want to know where this presidential campaign is being fought this week, check out the top five markets where the campaigns andallies are spending the most money on tv advertising. this week the top five are in three states. here we go. number five, cleveland, number four, norfolk, virginia. number three, richmond, virginia. number -- also in second place, des moines. the top tv advertising market this week in the presidential campaign, columbus, ohio. ohio, ohio, ohio, as tim used to say. so you brushed with colgate total and you didn't.
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we are welcome back. sarah palin is back, over the top. she used last night's attacks on the u.s. embassies in libya and egypt as an opportunity to make juvenile and small-minded attacks on president obama on facebook there was this post around midnight eastern time. quote, you can't do this -- oh, what can i say, we already know president obama likes to speak softly to our enemies if he doesn't have a big stick to carry, maybe it's time for him to grow one. that's what the former governor said. with me now is msnbc political analyst joan walsh, and ron reagan, also an msnbc political analyst. i'm going to hold off on commenting on that one because i've never heard a politician talk like that. i really have nothing to say out of decency. but you might, joan, because you are wildly gutsy in these matters. the language used there about big stick and the rest of it -- >> yes, she has a --
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>> what goes on here. >> dr. freud to the white courtesy telephone, that's all i can say, chris. why she's talking about the president growing a big stick is beyond me. she has a unique way with word and she is the person -- those early big stick is new to me. those early sarah palin rallies in 2008, they were pretty tea party rallies. the president palled around with terrorists and that he didn't see america the same way that we did. so this is just a continuation and the really sad thing is that now we have the candidate for president, mitt romney, sounding more like sarah palin than john mccain. and it's really kind of frightening. >> you know, war -- there is a metaphor that drives me crazy. war is real, people get killed, relatives lose loved ones. the idea that metaphor is a test stoft roan is sick, what are we supposed to do?
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start killing everybody in the country? imagine what the united states -- if they had done what macho would have said. like boston massacre, just mow down everyone trying to cross the embassy wall. just kill them all. >> what's sad, also s. that we are actually paying any attention to sarah palin. let's be clear here, sarah palin's constituency are people who wear bells on their shoes. what is note worthy here is that sarah palin speaks for, what, maybe half of the republican party. and as joan mentioned, if she and mitt romney sound just alike right now. >> you just said two different things, ron, my friend. you said that she doesn't speak for anybody and then she said she doesn't have a constituency and then you said that she speaks for half the party. >> no. i'm saying that we shouldn't pay attention to her. they are ignorant and foolish people and they make up half of the republican party right now. that's the only thing note
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worthy about what she is doing here. >> they also have tv sets. they also have tv sets. >> that's fine. i hope they hear what i said about them. >> any way, fox news host bill o'reilly asked palin last night whether the romney campaign should launch more, catch this, more personal attacks against president obama. there's a guy bear baiting. let's watch. >> should mitt romney go after barack obama more -- in a more personal way? should he use words like incompetent, dangerous, socialist, those kinds of buzz words that would get an enormous amount of attention, lock people in? should he do that? >> they are not just buzz words. those are accurate descriptions of our commander in chief. >> so he should do that? >> yes. he should be very aggressive and he should be adamant in his attacks on obama's record which
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is so dismal, his plan or lack of a plan, of obamas to get us out of these woeful times. yes, needs to be severely aggressive. >> it seems like one of those acts on the old ed sullivan show. he's bear baiting her and saying, would you use words like these and then she does exactly what he's sort of intended or trained her into doing. what a strange dialogue. >> i guess they think that makes good tv and nothing bill o'reilly shocks me or surprises me, really, but every once in a while he has a little flash of decency and a little flash of intelligence but there the ratings must be telling him -- >> i like bill o'reilly in a weird way because he's kind of a rough customer but i agree with you. he's got brains. ron, i want you to respond to this. this is john kerry telling a funny jokes at the convention at
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the dnc and then former governor palin responding to it. >> he's blurted out the per post rouse notion that russia is our geopolitical foe. folks, sarah palin said she could see russia from alaska. mitt romney talks like he's only see russia by seeing rocky 4. >> i think he even diminished himself by saying my name. aren't they supposed to be these bigwig elites that don't waste their time on the little people like me, me representing the average american? >> she was the vice presidential nominee of the republican party four years ago and she's playing, what? i don't get it. somebody you never heard of. >> i think we all diminish ourselves by mentioning sarah
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palin. but what this speakses to is a amateur hour quality of the foreign policy outlook of the republican party. you don't have to go as far as sarah palin to get out of their league. mitt romney is out of his league. he proved it when he went to the olympics and he really proved it over this last business with libya and egypt with his completely -- i don't know what he was thinking yesterday. >> ron, join, what a pair. thank you both. joan walsh, ron reagan, what a duo. when we return, let me finish with mitt romney. always pushing for mores. back to vietnam? not him. you're watching "hardball," a place for politics. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign.
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let me finish tonight with this. do people ever change? i wonder. back when he was in college, mitt romney demonstrated for the war in vietnam but did not go so far as to demonstrate for the war in the war. he likes the idea of the vietnam war, not the reality. here he is again playing war hawk. he wants us to be tougher with russia, tougher with china, tougher today in seyria. he likes the notion of fighting again, not so much the reality. why did he say what he did last night? you have to ask. why did he put out word that president obama was attacking our embassy? he didn't say


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